Everything Everywhere ups ante in war of words with 4G rivals

4G mast

Comms provider Everything Everywhere has hit out at rivals Vodafone and O2 for holding up the roll out of 4G networks in the UK.

Everything Everywhere plans to reuse part of its 1800 MHz spectrum to offer 4G services to businesses and consumers in the UK.

The strategy has angered several of the firm's competitors, including O2 and Vodafone, who will have to wait for the Government's spectrum auction to launch their own.

The reason they are threatening legal action is to delay us...because they have ignored 4G for so long.

The firm is awaiting the outcome of an Ofcom consultation into its spectrum reuse plans, which it hopes will pave the way for the launch of its 4G network by the end of the year.

Speaking to IT Pro, David Salem, Everything Everywhere's director of network strategy, said the company is working on the assumption that its plan will get the regulator's green light.

"We have commenced some physical build out of the infrastructure...and we have quite a large internal trial we are working on in Bristol at the moment so we [can be] confident in the quality [of signal] we will get from the service," he explained.

"The technology and infrastructure is there and the ecosystem of devices is ready. We're just waiting for that tick in the box now to let us get on with it."

The economic benefits of 4G are something Everything Everywhere has waxed lyrical about a lot in recent weeks.

And, with 34 countries across the globe already using the technology, Salem warned the UK's growth prospects could be dampened if there are any further delays.

"If you want the UK to look comparable and competitive in Europe, it needs to have this kind of infrastructure," said Salem.

"The smaller players have it, but the UK can't seem to get its act together at the moment and that will always reflect badly on this country."

By making 4G available across the UK, businesses will also be able to make greater use of high-speed downloads, cloud services and video content, he explained.

"The UK has the highest penetration of smartphones and the highest demand for data services on the move and yet you could argue that we have the weakest backbone infrastructure and this is absolutely what we want to turn around."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.